S 411

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 411

To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into agreements with States and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in the provision of case management services associated with certain supported housing programs for veterans, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 17, 2011

Ms. KLOBUCHAR (for herself, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. BEGICH, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. CASEY, and Mr. NELSON of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into agreements with States and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in the provision of case management services associated with certain supported housing programs for veterans, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Helping Our Homeless Veterans Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. COLLABORATION IN PROVISION OF CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES TO VETERANS IN SUPPORTED HOUSING PROGRAM.

    (a) Collaboration Authorized-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subchapter V of chapter 20 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

`Sec. 2045. Collaboration in provision of case management services to veterans in supported housing program

    `(a) In General- The Secretary may enter into agreements with eligible entities to collaborate in the provision of case management services as part of the supported housing program carried out under section 8(o)(19) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)) to expand and improve the provision of supported housing services and related outreach to veterans, including veterans who live in rural areas or underserved veterans who live in metropolitan areas or on Indian lands.

    `(b) Eligible Entities- For purposes of this section, an eligible entity is any entity that--

      `(1) is--

        `(A) a State or local government agency;

        `(B) a tribal organization (as such term is defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)); or

        `(C) a nonprofit organization;

      `(2) has the capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to collaborate in the provision of case management services as described in subsection (a); and

      `(3) agrees--

        `(A) to ensure access to case management services to veterans described in subsection (a) on an as-needed basis;

        `(B) to maintain referral networks for homeless veterans for purposes of assisting such veterans in demonstrating eligibility for assistance and additional services under entitlement and assistance programs available for such veterans, and to otherwise aid such veterans in obtaining such assistance and services;

        `(C) to ensure the confidentiality of records maintained by the entity on veterans receiving services through the supported housing program described in subsection (a);

        `(D) to establish such procedures for fiscal control and fund accounting as the Secretary considers appropriate to ensure proper disbursement and accounting of funds under the agreement entered into by the entity under this section;

        `(E) to submit to the Secretary each year, in such form and such manner as the Secretary may require, a report on the collaboration undertaken by the entity under this section, including a description of--

          `(i) the services and assistance provided to veterans as part of such collaboration; and

          `(ii) the specific goals set by the entity for the provision of such services and assistance and whether the entity achieved such goals; and

        `(F) to meet such other requirements as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of this section.

    `(c) Selection of Eligible Entities- (1) Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall establish a process for the receipt and consideration of proposals submitted under paragraph (2), including the appropriate form, manner, and time for submittal of such proposals.

    `(2) An eligible entity seeking to enter into an agreement under this section shall submit to the Secretary a proposal therefor in accordance with the process established by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1).

    `(3) Each proposal submitted under paragraph (2) shall set forth a description of the collaboration proposed to be undertaken by the entity concerned, including the following:

      `(A) A description of the region in which the entity proposes to collaborate in the provision of case management services described in subsection (a), including a description of resources and services already available to veterans described in such subsection in such region and a description of any gaps in such resources and services available to veterans in such region.

      `(B) A description of the veterans described in subsection (a) in the region described in subparagraph (A) and the needs of such veterans for supported housing services.

      `(C) A description of the capacity of the entity to provide services to veterans described in subparagraph (B) to meet their needs for the services described in such subparagraph.

      `(D) Plans, specifications, and a schedule for the provision of case management services under subsection (a).

    `(d) Case Management Services- For purposes of this section, case management services include the following:

      `(1) Personal health and development assistance, including such assistance relating to the following:

        `(A) Health care and referrals for health care.

        `(B) Mental health.

        `(C) Substance abuse.

        `(D) Counseling.

        `(E) Family support.

        `(F) Benefits and employment counseling.

        `(G) Job training and placement.

        `(H) Education on personal finance.

        `(I) Hygiene facilities.

        `(J) Meals.

        `(K) Transportation.

      `(2) Housing assistance for veterans, including:

        `(A) Assistance locating affordable housing, assistance with scheduling appointments to view available housing, accompanying veterans when viewing available housing, assistance with negotiating leases, and assistance with reviewing tenant leases.

        `(B) Rental and rent subsidies.

        `(C) Assistance in working with public housing agencies.

        `(D) Assistance in understanding lease terms and landlord and tenant laws.

        `(E) Assistance in understanding fair housing laws.

        `(F) Assistance in the resolution or prevention of mortgage delinquency, including assistance with matters relating to default, foreclosure, loss mitigation, budgeting, and credit.

        `(G) Assistance with home maintenance and financial management.

        `(H) Such other assistance in connection with locating housing and maintaining housing stability as the Secretary considers appropriate.

      `(3) Such other case management services, outreach, and other services as the Secretary considers appropriate.'.

      (2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 20 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2044 the following new item:

      `2045. Collaboration in provision of case management services to veterans in supported housing program.'.

    (b) Report-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on the collaboration of the Secretary in the provision of case management services under section 2045 of title 38, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)).

      (2) ELEMENTS- The report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

        (A) The number of eligible entities with whom the Secretary has entered into an agreement under section 2045 of title 38, United States Code (as so added).

        (B) A description of the geographic regions in which such eligible entities provide services under such section.

        (C) The number of veterans who received case management services from eligible entities under such section, disaggregated by--

          (i) underserved veterans in metropolitan areas;

          (ii) underserved veterans who live on Indian lands; and

          (iii) veterans in rural areas.

        (D) An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of entering into agreements with eligible entities under such section.

        (E) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate for the improvement of the authorities on collaboration in the provision of case management services under such section.

SEC. 3. DISTRIBUTION OF RENTAL VOUCHERS TO VETERANS IN RURAL AREAS AND UNDERSERVED VETERANS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS.

    (a) In General- Subchapter V of chapter 20 of title 38, United States Code, as amended by section 2(a)(1), is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:

`Sec. 2046. Distribution of rental vouchers to veterans in rural areas and underserved veterans in metropolitan areas

    `(a) In General- The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, ensure that the distribution of vouchers to veterans under the supported housing program carried out under section 8(o)(19) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)) meets the needs of veterans in rural areas and underserved veterans in metropolitan areas or on Indian lands in each region of the United States by using--

      `(1) statistical data and analysis;

      `(2) recommendations from any recipients of grants under the Continuum of Care Program set forth under subtitle C of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11381 et seq.); or

      `(3) such other means as Secretary considers appropriate.

    `(b) Agreements With Nonprofit and State and Local Government Agencies- The Secretary shall consider how agreements under section 2045(a) of this title can be used to ensure the distribution of vouchers as described in subsection (a) of this section.'.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 20 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2045, as added by section 2(a)(2), the following new item:

      `2046. Distribution of rental vouchers to veterans in rural areas and underserved veterans in metropolitan areas.'.

END